Research ArticleENVIRONMENTAL STUDIES

The gathering firestorm in southern Amazonia

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Science Advances  10 Jan 2020:
Vol. 6, no. 2, eaay1632
DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.aay1632
  • Fig. 1 Historical patterns of BA across Brazil’s southern Amazon for the period 2002–2010.

    1 (top): Observed fire scars from Morton et al. (10). 2 (middle): Simulated fire scars based on our fire model [fire ignition and spread for C (FISC)]. 3 (bottom): Observed (upper panels) and simulated (lower panels) patterns of BA for three regions of the southern Amazon (indicated on the upper panels).

  • Fig. 2 Seasonal patterns of active fires in deforested areas near forest edges (≤4 km) for the southern Amazon.

    (A) Seasonal patterns in active fires (“hot pixels”) in deforested areas near forest edges for the southern Amazon in 2003. “Observed” stands for NOAA—12 satellite night active fires (10), while “Simulated” stands for FISC active fires. The correlation between observed and simulated active fires was strong (r2 = 0.91) and significant (P < 0.01). (B) Annual variability in BA (understory fires) for the southern Amazon using a coupled fire-ecosystem model. The correlation between observed (10) and simulated active fires was strong (r2 = 0.94) and significant (P < 0.01).

  • Fig. 3 Simulated and observed patterns in fire behavior for southeast Amazonia.

    Observed data were collected in the context of a large-scale fire experiment, in which 50-ha experimental plots were burned annually (with the exception of 2008) or triennially between 2004 and 2010 (6). During 2007 and 2010, the region experienced severe droughts and increased air temperature. (A) Fireline intensity. (B) Rate of fire spread. (C) Understory VPD. (D) Fuel mass consumed by the experimental fires.

  • Fig. 4 Fire regime metrics for the southern Brazilian Amazon between 2001 and 2050.

    (A) Annual BA (first y axis; bars) and cumulative BA (second y axis; lines) projected under two climate change scenarios (RCP2.6 and RCP2.6; solid lines) and two deforestation scenarios (D: BAU; N: no new deforestation; dashed lines). The bars represent only the RCP8.5D and RCP2.6D scenarios. (B) Fire intensity, represented by 5-year moving averages (solid lines) and annual values. (C) Annual gross C emissions from projected wildfires. Dashed lines represent deforestation-only baselines for the periods 2000–2005 (upper line) and 2006–2010 (lower line). (D) Net emissions from modeled deforestation alone (dotted black line) and forest fire scenarios (colored lines).

  • Fig. 5 Projected deforestation and BA.

    Future projections of fire scars and deforestation for Brazil’s southern Amazon from 2011 and 2050 under the RCP8.5D scenario. Darker green represents protected areas and indigenous reserves, while yellow colors show deforested areas.

Supplementary Materials

  • Supplementary material for this article is available at http://advances.sciencemag.org/cgi/content/full/6/2/eaay1632/DC1

    Fig. S1. Components of our modeling framework.

    Fig. S2. Spatial-temporal changes in VPD and MCWD for three time periods compared to 2010.

    Fig. S3. Projected deforestation for the southern Amazon.

    Table S1. Decadal fire-related emissions of different GHG emissions per decade from the 2000s to the 2050s.

    Table S2. BA in millions of hectares for each decade and each one of the scenarios representing two deforestation (No deforestation: N; Deforestation: D) and climate pathways (RCP2.6; RCP8.5).

    Table S3. Input variables used to run the fire ignition component of our fire model (FISC), the source of the data, and the link to download the data.

    Table S4. Input variables used to run the fire spread component of our fire model (FISC), the source of the data, and the link to download the data.

    Table S5. Input variables used to run our ecosystem model (CARLUC), the source of the data, and the link to download the data.

  • Supplementary Materials

    This PDF file includes:

    • Fig. S1. Components of our modeling framework.
    • Fig. S2. Spatial-temporal changes in VPD and MCWD for three time periods compared to 2010.
    • Fig. S3. Projected deforestation for the southern Amazon.
    • Table S1. Decadal fire-related emissions of different GHG emissions per decade from the 2000s to the 2050s.
    • Table S2. BA in millions of hectares for each decade and each one of the scenarios representing two deforestation (No deforestation: N; Deforestation: D) and climate pathways (RCP2.6; RCP8.5).
    • Table S3. Input variables used to run the fire ignition component of our fire model (FISC), the source of the data, and the link to download the data.
    • Table S4. Input variables used to run the fire spread component of our fire model (FISC), the source of the data, and the link to download the data.
    • Table S5. Input variables used to run our ecosystem model (CARLUC), the source of the data, and the link to download the data.

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